The “Strategy for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship in Croatia” from 2015. provides financial fundings worth 270 million HRK, mostly from the European Social Fund. Currently, 18 projects worth 10 million HRK are being implemented.
A Roundtable on Social Entrepreneurship Development in Republic of Croatia was held on Feb. 7th, attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Pension System, the Roundtable gathered more than 100 interested in this discussion.
Inside the offices of the Croatian Employers’ Association, a round table was held, entitled “Development of Social Entrepreneurship in the Republic of Croatia”, as one of the activities of the innovative project RePlast 3D implemented by the Association „High Poplar“ from Rovinj, in partnership with Center UP2DATE from Zagreb. The project is fully funded by the European Social Fund.
Guests of the Round Table were:
– Deputy of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Pension System, Katarina Ivanković Knežević,
– Ph.D Marko Jelić, mayor of Knin,
– Milka Kosanović, director of relations with HUP membership,
-prof. Ph.D. Neven Šerić, University of Split, Faculty of Economics,
-Todor Petričević, Director of the Consortium of Social Enterprises ACT Group,
-Ivan Božić, Head of Human Social Affairs Unit Humana Nova,
-Mihaela Jovic Karešin, Project Manager of RePlast 3D and President of the High Jablani Association.
And social enterprises are companies and as such should be oriented to the market. “There is still no public support in the Republic of Croatia, how to solve promotion issues, product placement, etc. There is no permanent financial support, lack of funding models, no market for social investors, no education programs, no research – all that is missing in the field of social entrepreneurship.” – emphasized Teodor Petričević.
Prof. Neven Šerić emphasized the importance of developing the economy through the green economy and opening new jobs in the area as it is targeted through the RePlast 3D project.
“In the field of social entrepreneurship, we have come” out of force and trouble “because there are no other options for employment. We also lack statistics on how many social enterprises contribute to the country’s economy.” – says Milka Kosanovic.
“3D printing is the future of everything, he who knows how to design and print 3D, will have a job and will be competitive in the labor market, and local units are very interested in this form of economy development.” – said dr.sc. Marko Jelić, Mayor of the City of Knin.
“Social entrepreneurship is still based on the enthusiasm of individuals. The key factor in implementing the Strategy is the fact that we will finance through EU funds. There are currently 18 active projects, worth 10 million HRK, and by the end of the year we are announcing more projects. Eg. “Strengthening Businesses for Social Entrepreneurship” totaling 40 milion HRK. It is still necessary to foster social entrepreneurship.- says Katarina Ivanković Knežević
The debate also focused on the possibility of re-socialization of various marginalized social groups, which brings savings in several segments of government costs, as social spending on individual groups of citizens is reduced.
A key message to social entrepreneurs was sent by Teodor Petričević from ACT Group: “Do not focus on project finance alone. Projects shouldn’t be the majoriy of the financing of social enterprises